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December 19, 2017

DDC Works to Level the Playing Field for Young Women interested in STEAM Careers

Brooklyn, NY – Today, 30 young women who attend City Polytechnic High School of Engineering, Architecture and Technology (City Poly) met women working in the STEAM fields as part of “Introduce a Girl to Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) Day.” The event was organized by the NYC Department of Design and Construction’s Office of Community Partnerships and STEAM Initiatives (science, technology, engineering, architecture/art, and mathematics) with the goal of encouraging more young women to pursue STEAM careers.

DDC STEAM used hands-on training to help female students see themselves working in these fields. Students were tasked with designing a public building floor plan and then constructing a 3-D model. Additionally, students heard from a panel of female professionals working in the STEAM fields for DDC’s public buildings and infrastructure units. DDC Staff told students about the industry, the importance of education and the potential for job growth. 

Through these programs like ‘Introduce a Girl to Architecture, Engineering and Construction Day’, DDC STEAM is empowering young women by exposing them to design and construction careers that pay well and continue to be dominated by men,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “Thanks to my team’s efforts, DDC is reaching hundreds of young women in the city who will one day diversify the STEAM workforce and broaden the pool of ideas that influence the built environment.” 

City Polytechnic High School students construct 3-D models of a public building

“It’s so important for our students to see people like themselves succeeding in higher education and the workforce, and this program gives girls at City Poly the opportunity to find mentors, build lasting connections, and really understand the possibilities that exist for them,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “I thank DDC for its partnership in providing opportunities for our young women to learn about careers in STEAM.”‎

Across the country, men continue to outnumber women in STEAM fields. While women make up half of the workforce they hold less than 25 percent of jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Additionally, the Higher Education Research Institute found men are eight times more likely than their female peers to enter college with a plan to study engineering. STEAM careers are in high demand with architectural and engineering opportunities expected to grow in the U.S. by eight percent through 2024 and average wages are nearly double what non-STEAM related careers pay, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Educating girls in the STEAM professions will put them on a path to success because STEAM careers are the jobs of the future. If young women are going to compete in a global 21st century economy, they’ll need to be prepared and start their journey to success early. We’re thrilled to be a part of that journey.” said DDC Deputy Commissioner for Community Partnerships & STEAM Initiatives Lee Llambelis.

Times Square Pedestrian Plaza
DDC has engaged more than 2,000 students in STEAM programming citywide and nearly half of the students were young women

“We’re thrilled to partner again with the DDC to prepare and inspire female CTE students to continue pursuing careers in thriving STEAM industries,” said Doug Cotter, President of Grant Associates. “This event aligns well with our work through the CTE Industry Scholars Program, a NYC Department of Education initiative to increase the quality and quantity of work-based learning opportunities provided to CTE High School Students, and we are excited to be part of it.”

DDC STEAM was launched in 2014 to create a diverse and inclusive pipeline for young New Yorkers interested in careers in architecture, engineering and construction. Since launching, the office has engaged more than 2,000 students from middle school to college in STEAM programming including 862 young women.